OAKLAND -- For much of the season, the Warriors have tried and failed to find the necessary effort for big home games.
That wasn't the case Tuesday night when Golden State overwhelmed the Denver Nuggets in a 116-102 blowout at Oracle Arena.
The win, like each of the previous three matchups, proved the Warriors' superiority over the second-best team in the Western Conference while showing why the road to a third consecutive NBA title is an easy one if they want it to be.
The victory also all but clinched home-court advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs, as the Warriors now have a two-game lead over the Nuggets, in addition to a tiebreaker for winning the season series.
Here are the biggest takeaways from the game.
Efficient Durant dismissal
Hours before Tuesday's game, Kevin Durant said he doesn't plan on how he'll attack a defense before a game, opting to let "The Spirit" guide his game.
Well, that higher power apparently told him to continue his efficient ways, and he obliged, scoring 10 of his 21 points in the second quarter. He finished 9 of 13 from the floor, adding six assists and three assists, before being ejected in the third quarter for arguing a non-call.
Durant has been uber efficient lately, shooting more than 60 percent from the field over his last five games. The Warriors aren't expecting the low shot attempts to last, but if the wins keep piling up, it won't matter.
In a showdown of centers, DeMarcus Cousins flourished, scoring 12 of his game-high 28 points in his first 12 minutes. More importantly, he was engaged, diving for loose balls and bringing a defensive effort to help hold Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic to just 4-of-10 shooting from the field.
In recent games, Cousins is becoming the player the Warriors hope he'd be when they signed him to a mid-level exception last summer. His offensive output, combined with his recent stretch of solid defense, will be the difference when the playoffs arrive.
Second-quarter D does the trick
In the quarter that broke the game open, Golden State outscored Denver 29-19, holding the Nuggets to just 34.8 percent from the field and 10 percent from 3-point range.
Durant, Cousins and Draymond Green all finished with two blocks, helping the Warriors put together a championship-level defensive effort. This season, Golden State's defense has been up and down based on its attention level. If the focus remains how it was Tuesday night, a third consecutive title will be in its sights.